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Old 03-06-2009, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: Do I have Hashimoto's?

Why are you taking your meds every other day? Why not just take 50 mcgs or half of your 100 mcgs tablet everyday. The every other day scheme is not as good on your body's ability to equilibrate blood levels.

This is the regime that my aunts went through after their thyroid was removed. They started on 50 mcgs of T4. They stayed on it daily for 2 weeks THEN they increased to 75 mcgs and held there for 2 weeks THEN they moved to 100 mcgs and held there for 6 weeks and had their blood levels test afterward. This cut down on the hyperT sensations and allowed the body to readjust gradually to the increasing thyroid hormone supplement.

Now here is some basic blood chemistry facts, you asked a chemist.. so sorry if I get too technical.. just ask me to clarify after the fact.

Your body takes time to adjust to any medication. It is a system of checks and balances. It takes time for medication levels to build and stabilize in your system, be they anti-biotics, anti-histamines or in our case thyroxine (T4) supplementation. Each drug has a different rate of absorption and time in which it will achieve equilibrium.. BALANCE in your body. Once the drug has reached that state.. THEN the systems dependent on the drug must adjust to determine whether or not the amount is sufficient. After this time has passed the TSH and FT3 and Ft4 levels will reflect whether or not you have reached an optimal thyroid state.

Now thyroid medication comes in two forms:
T4 - thyroxine
T3 - don't want that name... T4 missing an iodine

T4 is the common supplement regime because it is stable and easy to transport and slower acting. There is less chance of being driven hyperT with it. T3 is 4x as reactive as T4. As a result T3 supplementation requires closer monitoring.

T4 takes 2 weeks to reach equilibrium in your blood. At two weeks you could check your Ft3 and Ft4 levels and know where you are in normal range on the dosage you are taking. However the TSH is slower to react. It takes another 2-4 weeks to adjust and show how the pituitary gland and hypothalamus feel about your thyroid hormone levels. SO on average the MDs make you wait 6-8 weeks before they test your blood with each medication dose change.

SO what should you experience? After 2 weeks on a steady dose you will manifest symptoms according to your Ft3 and Ft4 levels. If you do not have enough supplementation yet you will experience hypothyroid symptoms. If you have too much hyperthyroid symptoms will arise. If the dose is just right you should feel.. Normal.

You went through Meno at 41? Humm
My mother and her sisters had early menos.. when their thyroid issues were caught and medicated.. their menopause was reversed and they went through it again around 55-60. You will want to test to make sure that this doesn't reverse or you may end up with a late in life bundle of joy 15 years younger than any of your other children. My Aunt N did that. That was a surprise and not the expected stomach flu.

Your mom had hyperthyroidism.. was it Graves Disease? Graves can cause whole lobes of the thyroid to burn out. Think of Graves as an overseerer making a horse run in a circle over and over with out a break.. eventually if not checked the horse dies. Same with the thyroid.

In Hashimoto's the hypothyroid counterpart to Graves the overseerer sends out demolition crews to level the thyroid. In the end nothing survives. You should be tested for the autoimmune markers given your family history. If you have Graves/Hashimoto's in your family line your children are at an increased risk to develop the same condition.

The tests are:
TPOAb and TGAB for Hashimoto's
TSI and TRAb for Graves

Given your symptoms Hashimoto's is the most likely IF you have an autoimmune component to your thyroid dysfunction.

Hope this answered those questions.. sorry I ran on a bit.
If we learn by our mistakes, I am working on one hell of an education.